Dear Area 8 Members,

Because of health concerns due to COVID-19, the Area 8 Festival, “More Than Meets the Eye,” scheduled for June 18-20, 2020, has been cancelled as of Friday, April 24, 2020. Because of this unfortunate turn of events, we will not be together in June.  We look forward to future handbell events when we can again gather and make music. Please stay tuned for more information. Check the website, subscribe to Area 8 and state Facebook pages, and read the Quavers, our Area 8 newsletter for more information.

Beth Ann Edwards, Chair
Area 8 Handbell Musicians of America

What do I do with THESE?

Sharon Schmidt, Area 8 Chair-Elect

If you’re new to handbells, that might be one of your many questions.  Answers await you in the Handbells 101 Track at the Area 8 2020 Festival More Than Meets the Eye!  Both ringers and directors are welcome to this hands-on track for those looking to gain experience before tackling division and massed ringing in the future.  Directors will learn a methodical way of teaching new ringers.

In four track and eight class sessions, you’ll be immersed in the world of handbells.  The track sessions will concentrate on basic ringing and damping skills, learning about stem direction, introduction to techniques, adding the third bell, and answering your questions.  You’ll also have your choice of class sessions which will include beginning weaving, reading sessions, stopped techniques, observation of division rehearsals and more!  Recommendations on which classes to enroll in will be provided before the event based on your input.

I look forward to introducing you to the wonderful world of handbells in this small-group track, which is limited to the first 22 ringers!  Please contact me at the email below if you have questions about this track.

Sharon Schmidt

Sharon Schmidt (Area 8 Chair-Elect) is a charter member of The Agape Ringers, an auditioned community handbell ensemble from the Chicago area.  She directs two adult handbell ensembles at Gary United Methodist Church in Wheaton, IL, has served on the Area 8-Illinois State Committee since 1994, was chair for eleven Distinctly Bronze events, served as Area 8 treasurer for four years, and as the Certification Program Coordinator for the National for five years.  Her teaching experience includes numerous local events, events in Areas 1, 5, 7, 8, and 10, several National Seminars, a National Festival and the International Handbell Symposium in 2008.